Tag Archives: rules

unofficial rules of holiday shopping in the city

it’s tourist season and midtown is over flowing with shoppers, sight-seers, celebrity seekers and tree gazers!

2014-12-01 15.34.13 copy 2014-12-01 15.34.27 copy 2014-12-01 15.43.40 copy

it’s a good thing for the city – not so much for the residents.  from december through january things become all discombobulated for the locals because tourists disrupt the flow.  it’s nothing that can’t be fixed and it’s not even their fault. they are simply unaware of a few simple things. when travelling into the city, i’ve noticed that at the bridge & tunnel tolls, it’s always the cars with out of state plates in the ‘cash only’ lanes – the regulars have ez-pass.  i’m thinking that a small list of “instructions” printed on the back of the bridge & tunnel receipts would be a great invention because it could list the rules and then they would know.   since that’s not the case, i will post them here.

rule #1
don’t think – just cross the street.

crossing the street in midtown is similar to participating in a game of football. there are two sides, face to face, waiting for the ‘go ahead.’ the difference is that in midtown, each team has anywhere from 25 – 50 people on each side where in football, there are only 11 on each side.  during the months of february through november, when the light says walk, the ‘teams’ advance towards each other and effortlessly manage to get to the other side of the street without knocking into anyone. they’re used to it; they don’t get nervous and foot traffic just flows. on the other hand, in december and january,  i believe that during the 2-3 minute wait between light changes, tourists get super focused on the opposing team which makes them nervous.  their brain begins to wonder how they will manage to cross the street through all those people about to charge towards them, and they begin to map out a strategy.  as soon as the light changes, they follow their mind map.  because they could never predict the mind maps of the opposing team, it turns into a giant cluster of frustrated people bumping into each other, scared they will never reach the other side safely. weird but true.

rule# 2

when you see a pretty store window, something shiny that catches your eye or a homeless person, do not just stop in the middle of the sidewalk.  this causes mid-sidewalk collisions and then you leave the city thinking ny’ers are rude.

rule #3

wear your comfy flat walking shoes or you will regret it.  and know that the people in the flat comfy walking shoes are the ones who must walk on the grates. women in heels have the right of way on the sidewalk whenever a grate presents itself.  there is no need to worry about falling through the grates and landing in the pathway of an oncoming subway, seriously.

2014-12-05 14.33.03 copy

It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.
 ~ Buddha



new facist city?

i don’t drink soda.  not because it doesn’t taste good, but because i think it’s bad for my body.  i love carrot cake!  once in a while, i even eat some. i hate to think that one day carrot cake will only be sold by the  ‘sliver’   because someday i may want to buy a whole cake  or,  maybe even two carrot cakes at once!

and salt!  i love salt.  and i can have as much salt as i want. i wouldn’t recommend it for people with high blood pressure just like i wouldn’t recommend antibiotics for people who aren’t sick.  salt is not the demon.  most people who get too much salt are the ones who exist on pre-packaged salt laden foods and food-like substances.  

i also understand that working out everyday is good for my body, but do i work out every day?  no, i don’t,  even though i know i should.  whether i work out or not, i am free to choose  –  at least for now.   i am however getting a little scared that mayor bloomberg may soon start taxing people with over 21% body fat.  i can picture little bmi stations set up along side the toll booths and commuters and tourists will have to be fitness tested prior to entering the city.

i’m not anti-bloomberg, really i’m not.  there are a lot of people in my life who i like a lot even though they do really weird things.  

when i began to write this article it was going to be focused simply on noise rules in the city but it has now morphed into a story of personal freedom.  at first i wanted to simply point out that the city is inundated with signs promising a $350 fine for needless honking of car horns.

proof ↓


and if you’ve ever been to the city you have no doubt heard hundreds of car horns in just the first hour of your visit.  if you stay a week or so, you could possibly hear more than 1946 beeps – or more – that’s just an estimate of course.

so lets just say the traffic police who are honked at multiple times with each changing light in this town, were actually minding the law and giving out tickets as promised.  $350 x 1946 honks per week per neighborhood.  there are approximately 65 neighborhoods in manhattan alone so, without including queens, the bronx, brooklyn & staten island which are all part of nyc, the city could make  ($350 x 1946 honks per week) x 65 neighborhoods = $44,271,500.00 per week.


of course we couldn’t expect the traffic police to be present for every honking incident because we all know that would be ridiculous.  they’re too busy just standing there.  i realize most of us would be fired from our jobs if we followed the law just 10% of the time, but just for arguments sake let’s say the traffic police got just 10% of the honkers.   10% of  $44,271,500.00 would bring in $4,427,150 per week.  that’s over $230 million per year!  but instead, according to new york magazine, “the NYPD gave just 206 summonses for the offense last year.”

206 summonses translates into $72,100 last year for the city.  i suspect that wouldn’t come close to covering the cost of the signs, labor for installation, sign maintenance  and,  the salaries for the many, many important people who no doubt met for hundreds and hundreds of hours to determine placement of honking fine signs  – and god knows what the court filings and implementation of said sign laws cost  –  and it just goes on & on.

i didn’t vote for that.  if you voted for the honking signs, would you please identify yourself?  

if i were mayor and allowed the city to spend all that money on signs,  i would at least enforce the law.  the costs would be covered before the first year was out and quality of life in the city would actually be improved.

laurie  for  mayor!

and just, fyi, if you’re interested, on the nyc website,

You can request street signs installation, relocation, or removal.  You can also buy a personalized street sign. No Honking signs (the Department of Environmental Protection will study the intersection and approve or deny the request based on study results)

you may have noticed my lack of patience for imbecility but after all that money spent on salaries, bureaucracy, sign design and what ever else, how is it possible that the city does not enforce that law, yet agreed to fine a man for laughing too loudly in his own home?

Long Island man issued summons for laughing too loud in his own home.

There’s no pursuit of happiness for this Long Island man — local cops busted him for laughing too loudly in his own home.

Robert Schiavelli, 42, was recently slapped with two “absurd” summonses because his next-door neighbor complained that he could hear his hearty guffaws from across the driveway.   story

and it gets better!  this week the post also reported:

Mayor Bloomberg’s new health crusade: too-loud earbuds  –  Mayor Bloomberg — who has already cracked down on smoking, junk food, trans fats, salt and super-sized drinks — is embarking on a new crusade: preventing New Yorkers from going deaf.  story

i’m tempted to continue ranting on personal freedom, but i think  fay voshell has already said it best:

What could possibly be next?

Will the “don’t drink, don’t smoke” goody-two-shoes food police aim at the amount of pizza consumed? Will pizza parlors soon be able to sell only two slices at a time? Will pizza shop owners have to file a permit in order to sell a whole pie? Maybe customers will have to show they are fit enough to consume pepperoni topping by doing twenty jumping jacks; and those who dare to order a meat lover’s pizza will have to do thirty pushups. .  .

They should ask themselves questions like, “How would I like it if Muslim food laws were forced on all of New York City’s inhabitants?” Or, “Would it be fair if Seventh Day Adventists stopped all New Yorkers from eating bacon?” Or, “Would I like it if Gaia worshiping vegans ruled the City’s restaurants?”

that being said, i’m going to do my laundry.

kitchen (8)

“There are only two kinds of freedom in the world; the freedom of the rich and powerful, and the freedom of the artist and the monk”
 ~ Anais Nin

is there a new rule i should know about?

do pedestrians now have to stop for cars?  because i thought it was the other way around and now i don’t know what to do.  if you have information on this, please let me know.  thank you in advance for your help.

pedestrian stop sign soho

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
 Robert McCloskey